Student journalists attend conventions in Las Vegas

Kenny Peris

Kent State’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists have been rolling the dice over the weekend at the 2005 SPJ Convention and National Journalism Conference in Las Vegas.

Six SPJ students from Kent State left for the convention yesterday at noon and will stay through tomorrow. The group is supporting its members who have won awards, SPJ President Theresa Edwards said.

The SPJ National Convention is held once a year during the fall semester. Senior SPJ member Jessica Alaimo said that winners from the Regional Convention in the spring go on to the National Convention to compete at a higher level in various categories of news reporting, general news, broadcast and magazine.

Three Kent State national finalists will compete for awards at this year’s convention for Magazine Nonfiction Article and Photo-Illustration, both from the Burr and general news reporting for TV-2.

“SPJ awards look great on a resume,” Alaimo said. “The convention gives students a chance to network with professional journalists and talk about issues in the journalism world.”

One of the guest speakers highlighted at this year’s convention is Judith Miller, the New York Times reporter who was jailed for four months for refusing to reveal a source. According to SPJ’s Web site, Miller will receive a First Amendment Award and join a panel discussion where she will talk about her experiences.

The convention will be held in the Aladdin Hotel and Casino with events lasting all of the three days. Edwards said funding for the trip came from many different areas. Journalism and Mass Communication Director Jeff Fruit gave money to cover the hotels and the Daily Kent Stater gave $1,000 for the flight.

Alaimo said additional funding came from general SPJ fundraising, such as the candy tables in Taylor Hall.

Contact student media reporter Kenny Peris at [email protected].